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Friday 15 December 2017

'Nervous' Chris O'Dowd takes his bow on Broadway

Chris O'Dowd (left) and James Franco at the 'Of Mice and Men’ Broadway preview.
Chris O'Dowd (left) and James Franco at the 'Of Mice and Men’ Broadway preview.
Actors Jim Parrack, Leighton Meester, Chris O'Dowd and James Franco take a bow during the first curtain call for Broadway's "Of Mice And Men" at Longacre Theatre in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Irish actor Chris O'Dowd and James Franco took an emotional final bow after making their Broadway debuts in John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men'.

The preview of Tony Award-winning director Anna D Shapiro's stage show at the Longacre Theatre in New York was met with a standing ovation and rapturous applause when the final curtain fell last night.

Boyle-born O'Dowd, who plays the part of farmhand Lennie, described appearing in the show as both "exciting and hand wetting".

"It is nerve-racking," O'Dowd said. "But the opportunity to do something on Broadway was something I'd been looking for so there was no thinking time needed."

Tony Award-winning actor Jim Norton, who is best known for his role as Bishop Brennan in comedy series 'Father Ted', also stars in the production alongside 'Gossip Girl' actress Leighton Meester.

O'Dowd and Norton are not the only Irish actors making their mark on Broadway. 'Love/Hate' actor Brian F O'Byrne is also currently the lead in Patrick's Shanley's light-hearted comedy 'Outside Mullingar'.

And later this month, comedian Pat Shortt and Cork actress Sarah Greene will fly to New York with Martin McDonagh's 'The Cripple of Inishmaan'.


Set in California during the Great Depression, 'Of Mice and Men' tells the story of two out of work migrant ranch-workers moving from place to place in search of a job. Lead actor, California-born James Franco, is relishing the part and described Steinbeck as a "father figure" to him.

"Steinbeck is my man, he strangely feels like a father, because I read him religiously when I was younger. And still do," he said.

Rehearsals for the show began last month in Chicago before moving to the Signature Theatre on West 42nd Street in New York.

Irish Independent

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